Wednesday, 12 June 2013

That Was The Week That Was

In a cold spring, it seems the tench will take any opportunity to fulfill their desires. As I said last time, this has been the coldest spring for 34 years, and has followed a cold winter, the third cold winter in four years. Cold winters kill off the weed and kill off the invertebrates that tench feed on and if the spring is cold too, then the weed doesn't grow as it should and the insect life struggles to become established. This is how it was right through March, right through April and right through May, then as June began, the sun came out, and things changed.
The tench in the lake have regular habits most of the time. We know where they will be and when they will be there, but the thing that determines their whereabouts above all others is the weed. Tench love weed, and it's no coincidence that they mirror its colour - they need it for food, for shelter from predators and of course, for spawning. When the weed doesn't grow in the usual areas the habits of the tench change, and this year, they changed big-style.

As June broke, the sun came out and the old tench haunts emptied. The lack of the green stuff, coupled with the urge to spawn in the brightening weather forced the tench to look elsewhere and as luck would have it, we managed to find them. Everything changed in just a few days. The tench suddenly put on weight, they gathered in good numbers in the one small part of the lake where weed had emerged and we caught them.

Denis and I were joined by a few others and while the fishing was still difficult, the small area we fished produced the following catch of tench:
Males of 4lb, 5.07, 5.15, 6.08 (x2) and 6.14 along with females of 6 odd, 7.10, 8.00, 8.01, 8.03, 8.04 (x3) 8.11, 8.12, 9.00, 9.01 and 9.05
Denis had the best of this, taking four eight pounders to 8lb 11oz along with the biggest male, while I took the biggest tench overall, along with a bream of exactly 11lbs which took at the same time and males to 6lb 8oz. It was spectacular fishing while it lasted - but it didn't last for long!

Just one week after the tench gathered in this area, and with high pressure dictating a full week of bright sunshine and relatively warm conditions, the bubbles burst and the tench spawned.We arrived on the last day of spawning and they were crashing and bow-waving in the weed to the side of our swims. I actually caught two more fish, spawned out females covered in sores and scars from their efforts and weighing four pounds and 6lb 2oz. Another angler fished next to me and took a huge fish, utterly battered and totally spawned out which weighed 8lb 4oz. had it been caught a week earlier it would surely have been ten pounds plus.

In four days time the river season opens, and with so many things in the pipeline, including an exciting opportunity that I cannot yet disclose, it seems that the next challenge is just around the corner. A friend rang today "We've had an entire tench season condensed into just one week." he said, and how right he was.

1 comment:

kcon93 said...

Some nice tench there, unfortunately I couldn't fish it this year.